Prevalence of Drug and Substance Abuse among Secondary School Students in Nzaui District Makueni County, Kenya
Muthoka, Paul Mwau
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The prevalence of drug and substance abuse among Kenyan secondary school students has been a major problem and has been linked to adverse consequences such as suicide, delinquency, criminal behaviors, psychological difficulties and poor academic performance (NACADA 2007). DSA among secondary school students is the single most predictive factor for adult drug dependence. Since DSA have cognitive effects to the abusers (Gillis] 996) such as loss of concentration in academic performance this could be attributed to poor academic performance in some of the Kenyan secondary schools. The government and school policies do not seem to be able to stop or reduce the prevalence rates of drug and substance abuse in Kenyan secondary schools for more and more youths in secondary schools are getting involved in drug and substance abuse. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate and establish the prevalence of drug and substance abuse among secondary school students in Nzaui District Matitiku Division, Makueni County -- Kenya. To realize the purpose of this study, the peer group learning theory was used to guide the study. The target population for this study was form one to form four students, school counselors, teachers, deputy principals and the D.E.O. The study had a sample size of 225 respondents. The study was a descriptive survey. In view of this, field survey was adopted to collect both quantitative and qualitative data using questionnaires and interview schedules. Stratified sampling technique was used. The collected primary data was analyzed using notes and tables. Qualitative data was evaluated, classified into logical thematic themes based on the research objectives and then coded. Given the fact that limited or no information on DSA prevalence is available in Nzaui District, this research was undertaken to bridge the gap. The study has shown that more than half of the sampled students abused drugs and 60% of the drug abusers were male while 40% were female students. The three mostly abused drugs were alcohol, tobacco and bhang. Peer pressure, socialization and easy availability of drugs were found to contribute to the habit. The researcher hopes that the output this study would help the Ministry of Education to better understand the current prevalence of drug and substance abuse among secondary school students and accordingly address the factors that contribute to drug abuse in secondary schools. In addition, the findings of this study would empower secondary school administrators to put in place prudent policies regarding DSA prevention programmes.